Last week, our paper was practically out of date by the time it hit stands. Next week, we may not put out a print edition at all.
At this awkward moment in the middle, we’ve made some unusual choices that probably warrant explanation.
We have opted not to include a calendar. There may be a few public events planned, but requirements are changing so quickly that we can’t be sure that they’ll actually take place.
Similarly, with so many people housebound, there’s not a lot to Scuttlebutt — although we would like to congratulate Fred Williams for finishing second out of 200 at a pickleball tournament in Wickenburg, AZ and extend birthday wishes to Sophia Kai-kim Higbie, Stan Badgett, Katie Hunter and Matthew Eames (March 19); Judy Bartels (March 21); Erin Danneker and Jose Miranda (March 23); Jammin’ Jim (March 24) Paul Struempler and Alta Otto (March 25).
Now, for what is in this paper. Obviously, the big news of the moment is the COVID-19 outbreak and the sweeping measures in place to slow its spread. On the next few pages, we’ve tried to provide context on what people are experiencing and how they’re handling it. Most of that won’t change over the course of a week, but be aware that resources or business plans might.
We have also very deliberately included plenty of content that isn’t directly related to Coronavirus. There are plenty of outlets providing exhaustive coverage — KDNK, in particular, is once again proving itself an essential resource in an emergency, and we hope to support that. But our goal is not just to inform, but to inspire and build community. We think you should still get to meet your neighbors even if you can’t do it in person (see pages 6 and 7 for people focused features). There are also some public processes still taking place that need public attention (pages 9 through 11). And our contributors have gone out of their way to make sure there’s some lighter stuff to maybe lift your spirits or just entertain you (12).
It’s been extremely gratifying to see so much support in the form of advertising and community feedback. If you had trouble putting your hands on a paper this week, our apologies. Many of our usual distribution sites are closed or too risky for us to drop-off. We’re working on a few ideas on how best to minimize the spread of disease through our boxes.
That brings us to the possibility that it may not be wise or even possible for us to continue as we have in coming weeks. In any case, we’re certainly not going to turn over Carbondale coverage to the Xinhua News Agency, so be sure to check our website, soprissun.com, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We look forward to reconnecting with all of you when life returns to some semblance of normalcy.
Until then, be well and be good.